Sonny Arvado Game – “This is the image building business”

Required reading for this blog post: 29 Truths About Game from Sonny Arvado’s blog, Strength by Sonny. At this point, I’ve probably read it five times through, and I can definitively say it is the best article I have ever seen about Game. No bullshit, just pure truth.

I’m an extremely independent learner, and I had never, ever paid money to any coach, but late last year, I started to read through Sonny Arvado’s blog, Strength by Sonny. I had previously only read a few posts of his, but the more I started to read, the more I started to think: “Goddamn, this guy gets it.”

Reading his posts, it became clear that he is an expert on something I had been struggling with all of last year: image. I knew he was able to give me some perspective, so I bit my ego bullet and reached out to Sonny about getting consulting.  What follows is my review of that process, of Sonny’s game in general, and what guys can take away from his outlook.

Why should you listen to Sonny?

In my opinion, Sonny Arvado, out of all the “coach/instructor/guru” (or whatever you want to call them) types, has the best combination of the major factors of Game:

  • Looks (“Image”)
  • Social Acuity
  • Game
  • Mindset

Many guys do this for ten years and manage one or two out of four. Sonny is extremely strong in all of the above areas:

  • Looks (“Image”) – he has spent his entire adult life improving on his naturally good looks to make the game as easy for himself as possible. Most importantly, he has improved his physique to be top-tier, meaning that he is instantly polarizing anywhere he goes.
  • Social Acuity – Sonny is essentially a “true natural”. He self-describes as always having been part of the “in crowd”. This is not something that most coaches can say about themselves (because if they were, why would they need to study social skills and be good enough at it to start teaching guys?)
  • Game – he is the rare natural who is actually trained in “technical game”, through being involved in the Las Vegas “pickup community” doing cold approach and being associated with other coaches and instructors. This means he can break things down using terms familiar to guys with a community background.
  • Mindset – Sonny gets it. This is evident when you talk to him for an extended period of time. He’s red- and looks- pilled in all the right places, but with zero hint of bitterness. One line from his 29 Truths about Game article stuck out to me: “Most guys are searching for purpose. They want to find their place in the world. Relevancy and belonging is what they are really going after. They want to find their place and they want that place to be a relevant one”. Deep down, he understands that every man’s true goal in life is to be happy and fulfilled.

Sonny Arvado Game

That aside, what can we learn from Sonny, game-wise? The following is a basic summary of his game, without giving away too many secrets. The full details can be cleaned from his blog post: Sonny Arvado Game.

His game relies on being “sexually dimorphic”. As big, brawny, masculine, and muscular as possible. The idea is that the bigger you are, the more polarizing you are, and the less roadblocks will be put in your way (LMR, anti-slut defense, cockblocks, AMOGs, etc.)

He screens girls aggressively in social situations by asking a simple question: “What’s this chick’s deal?” He uses any possible information he can to suss this out, including the girl’s Instagram account, and even her phone background (for example: does it have a photo of her boyfriend? Probably not a great target.)

When he goes out at night, he classifies interactions into one of four categories:

  • Probable Flakes – he takes the number, but expects it to flake anyway.
  • Interest to the Point of Agreeing to a Date – the girl seems interested, but something is logistically preventing the pull that night. In that case, he asks what her schedule is like and seeds the date right away.
  • Hail Marys – she’s down to clown, but can’t leave with you due to some logistical standpoint (her friends won’t let her leave, etc.). He takes the number and then calls her (not texting, very important) later in the night after the clubs close and has her Uber over to his place.
  • Good to Go – she’s down to clown and you need to work logistics to pull her.

Objections when going for the pull can be overcome with two frames:
– time/distance: “My place is close”
– secrecy: “No one has to know, it will be our little secret” (this includes changing vocal tonality and whispering dirty talk to a girl in the club)

At some point in every nightgame interaction, he will attempt to isolate the girl, either by moving her a couple feet away, or by buying her a drink at the bar.

He’s a big fan of hired gun game, which he uses on bartenders, hooters girls, or bottle service girls. This is the only part of his game where he uses a canned line: “I’m sure you get this all the time, but I think you’re very beautiful and I’d love to take you out some time.”


“This is the image-building business”

By far the biggest aspect of Sonny’s philosophy that appealed to me is a set phrase which he uses often:  “This is the image-building business”. Guys worry constantly about their “game”, when really, their struggles in their dating/social lives are actually due to their image, which he defines as:

  • Face (or head) – hair, bones, skin, jawline, etc.
  • Body – including tattoos and piercings
  • Tangible extensions of identity and wealth – clothes and accessories, car, neighborhood and housing
  • Social media profiles
  • Associations – who are your friends? Are you part of a certain “scene”? What is your archetype?
  • Communication skills – voice, eye contact, body language, communication style
  • Societal feedback – How does society treat you?

One of my favorite quotes from Sonny about image: “People are very distracted and low conscious. Not only do they not have the time to sift through your golden intangibles but they oftentimes do not even have the capacity to do so.”

Pretty much every guy wants the same type of girl: desirable, sexually dimorphic girls in their prime, but these type of girls respond much more strongly to a man’s image than to his game. In 2019, with the rise of Instagram and online dating, superficial image is more important than ever. Thus, guys should be focusing on their image first and their game second. The problem with the community, according to Sonny, is that men don’t want to do the hard work, and fall back on game as a coping mechanism for their image inadequacies.

The archetype guys should be going after should be “cool, attractive insider”. Every guy may define this differently, but a quick glance through a girl’s Instagram feed should give some pretty strong clues as to what type of guys are currently deemed “cool, attractive insiders” by society.

“You attract who you are”

One of Sonny’s other philosophies that was a gamechanger for me was the idea of “you attract who you are”. Good people attract other good people. Bad people attract other bad people. People tend to form relationships, platonic or romantic, with their looks- and image match. Men and women on a similar level in the eyes of society tend to date each other.

Since I’ve internalized this belief, I can’t stop seeing it over and over:

  • Sociopaths attract girls with other personality disorders.
  • Nerdy white tech guys attract fobby Asian girls.
  • Intelligent, college-educated guys attract intelligent, college-educated girls.
  • “Hood” black guys attract hood black girls, latinas, and Instagram “thots”.
  • Raver/EDM type guys attract raver/EDM type girls.

All of the above are not just attracting girls of their archetype, but also their looksmatch and personality match.

There are no hacks to this shit. Barring crazy anomalies, every guy is going to attract the type of girl that his personality and image dictate.


Before my Skype call with Sonny, I did a bunch of research and prepared notes. I was reticent at first because his rates aren’t cheap, but I was pleasantly surprised at his passion and dedication to coaching. Not only did he call me to figure out what my goals are before setting up our session, where we had a great 45-minute conversation about philosophies, the community, and more, during our Skype call he also set aside the entire evening to talk to me to make sure I was on the right track. It helped that we have similar mindsets, are around the same age, and share a lot of the same tastes in humor (he, too, recognizes early Adam Sandler as a comedy genius).

Our conversation covered a bunch of topics, like his nightgame method, tangible steps I can take to improve my image, approaching girls at the gym, the best cities in America for me to move to if I wanted to take the show on the road, and what I should be doing to improve my physique.

Overall, the biggest takeaway I walked away with from the call was that of image. Talking to Sonny was a valuable insight into a “true natural” that has mastered the art of image-building and is attracting the types of girls I want to attract.

This year, I will be putting a primary focus on changing and improving my image. I will have details about this in my next blog post, including what my image is now, and what I will be doing to improve it.

Should you work with Sonny?

It depends. Sonny’s advice will work for almost everyone, but the problem is that many guys simply won’t be ready to see it. They’re zoomed in too far — stuck gutter gaming 6s outside of their favorite nightgame venue at 3:30 AM.

For anyone truly willing to swallow the image pill, Sonny is a great place to turn.

There’s nothing truly groundbreaking about Sonny’s advice, and there doesn’t need to be. It’s simple, logical, and straightforward. And that’s what makes it so valuable.

Sonny isn’t going to give his students that ONE WEIRD TRICK to hack the system. Rather, he’s going to pull back the curtain and show them that most community advice misses the bigger picture, and the answers (be attractive and go for it) were in front of their noses the entire time.

If, after reading this, you feel like this might be up your alley, check out his blog post about his live training and coaching.

My 2018 Statistics and Analysis

For comparison: My 2017 Statistics and Analysis


20 (2017: 28, 2016: 20)

11 in San Francisco
3 in Pittsburgh
2 in Vegas
2 in Bangalore, India
1 in Hawaii
1 in Indianapolis

Notch Sources

16 Tinder
1 Bumble
1 Instagram
1 Fetlife
1 Nightgame Pull

I did nightgame maybe 30 nights this year. I pulled three times and closed once (one girl gave LMR, and the other girl I couldn’t get hard because I had just fucked a girl a couple hours before). I mostly experimented with number farming, but of the 45 nightgame numbers I got (there were actually many more I didn’t keep track of), zero of them panned out for a date.

I did 324 daygame approaches, got 108 numbers, had 9 dates, but for the second year in a row, I had zero notches from daygame.

Overall, outside of online, I had almost zero results for all the effort I put in. There are many external reasons for my lack of closes, but at the end of the day, the responsibility lies with myself.

Notch Quality

Disclaimer: I have one of the “harshest” and most accurate rating systems that I know of in the community (nearly ever guy overrates).

One 5, Three 5.5s, Four 6s, Eight 6.5s, Four 7s, One 7.5

Average notch rating: 6.33 (2017: 6.03, 2016: 5.725)

Looks like my quality is moving up a steady third of a point a year. I expect to top out around a 7 average, as I don’t believe I can possibly improve my looks beyond that of a male 6.5/7 without plastic surgery (as we know, it is impossible for a man to outkick his looksmatch average via cold approach).

Conversion Rate (Notches/First Dates)

An important metric that tracks how good my “date game”, as well as my screening, is. Note that this means new notches per each girl I saw, not multiple dates with the same girl.

67% or 6/9 while traveling (2017: 53%).

44% or 11/25 in San Francisco (2017: 39%)

It’s good to see an improvement from last year, but these numbers are still not where I want them to be. I’ve gotten better at screening, but I don’t think my date game is that much better than it was last year.

Fun Stories

I fucked a pregnant 18-year-old in Indianapolis. She remarked “That was so fun. Is this what it’s supposed to be like?” She had never had good sex in her life. I gave her a lesson on avoiding STDs and sent her on her way. Really enjoyed that interaction.

I diagnosed a girl’s anorexia while cuddling with her in her dorm room. She was 4’11”, 95 pounds, but when I got her clothes off, I noticed a bunch of stretch marks. Turns out she had rapidly lost like 50 pounds in a semester. Afterwards, she texted me that our conversation gave her the strength to tell her roommate and get treatment.

Recurring revenue: I hooked up with two girls that I ended up seeing again in different cities. It pays to keep in contact with girls via social media.

Over the summer, I pulled from nightgame for the first time ever. An off-duty stripper on her last night in town. She had incredible frame and gave ridiculous amounts of LMR. The sex was awful. I think I got the wrong stripper.

I took Amtrak to a small town to bang a single mother. New adventures are one of the ways I keep Tinder fun.

Went to Vegas for the first time. One of the nights, I fucked a girl from Tinder, then went to a club two hours later, pulled a girl, and while waiting outside the club for an Uber, ran into the Tinder girl I had fucked. Naturally, I introduced the two girls and we had a laugh. Vegas is not real life.

I had two girls that wanted to meet up the one night I was in Vancouver. I chose wrong and had a failed date with a Kiwi girl in Vancouver. As soon as it was clear she wasn’t going to hook up with me, I called my backup, had her get out of bed, put clothes on, pick me up from the date location and take me straight back to my AirBnB. Always have a backup plan!

Analysis of My Game in 2018

Satisfying the Notch Hyena

2018 was about expanding from online game. I remember a specific date in late January from Tinder, where I matched this liberal arts, social justice-y 6, and having nothing to do, basically DTF pitched her that night and met her at a local bar. She wasn’t very talkative and there wasn’t really a spark, but as the sex was “pre-ordained”, I invited her back anyway. When I went to put the condom on to fuck her, I lost my erection. I realized that I wasn’t even attracted to this girl — why was I trying to bang her? After she left, I took the night to reflect on what it was I really wanted.

That was the beginning of the end for the Tinder notch hyena. As of now, I can say it’s pretty much satisfied. I let Tinder plus lapse at the beginning of the summer and haven’t bought it again. With pay-to-play becoming more of a trend on Tinder, as well as massively increased male competition, the playing field is again leveled and I have a tough time even matching girls I’m actually attracted to.

With all this in mind, I began to invest in daygame and nightgame cold approach as possible markets I could play to niches in and shoot above my level.

Unfortunately, the learning curve for these is much steeper than online game. I got two nightgame lays and zero daygame lays in 2018, despite my efforts.

Overall, I think I have calmed the notch hyena. I am no longer going after notches, but instead after consistency (ongoing casual relationships) and quality.


I feel like I am close to becoming an expert on texting. I used to have questions about how to respond to every little text a girl sent, now I’m only stumped a half dozen times a year.

I have truly mastered online game. There is no aspect of online game I cannot speak confidently about. I know exactly what is required to achieve complete success with online game — the only question mark is execution.

New Techniques

I learned the following new technical game techniques in 2018. I am not an expert at any of them yet, but I use them at least some of the time now:

  • Open loops
  • Compliance ladders (hoops)
  • Recognizing social and sexual hook points
  • Qualification (“I have standards”)
  • Laser eye contact


The biggest breakthrough I made in 2018 was that of image. I realized that my game had improved to the point where my image was actually my limiting factor. Interestingly, I predicted this back in January of last year in the post: How My Game Will — or Won’t — Evolve in 2018.

The most impactful quote from that article: “I will reach a point in 2018 where I cannot get to where I want to be without changing my lifestyle.”

It is now January 2019, and I have reached that point, but I have not made any significant changes to my lifestyle and image. As such, I have not truly begun to attract the types of girls I want to attract.

2019 will be about grappling with that fact.

I’ve had some very productive conversations with Sonny Arvado about how I can overhaul my image to attract the girls I want to attract, of which I will be going into more detail in my next blog post.